A study from the University of Texas has found that increased breastfeeding decreases ear infections among nursing children. The researchers followed 367 babies between 1 and 12 months old from 2008 through 2014. The scientists analyzed family history traits of smoking, ear infections, breastfeeding and formula feeding.
Nose and throat mucosal samples were taken throughout the study period to identify infections, and parents informed the researchers whenever the baby experienced an infection.
The study was led by Dr. Tasnee Chonmaitree, a pediatrics professor from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “We clearly showed that frequent upper respiratory infections, carriage of bacteria in the nose and lack of breastfeeding are major risk factors for ear infections,” he states. “Prolonged breastfeeding was associated with significant reductions in both colds and ear infections, a common complication of colds.”